Author of seven books about rational living, including “When Everything Fails, Try This” (2009), “Rationality Is the Way to Happiness” (2009), “The Philosophy of Builders: How to Build a Great Future with the Pieces from Your Past” (2010), “The 10 Principles of Rational Living” (2012), “Rational Living, Rational Working: How to Make Winning Moves When Things Are Falling Apart” (2013), “Consistency: The Key to Permanent Stress Relief” (2014), and “On Becoming Unbreakable: How Normal People Become Extraordinarily Self-Confident” (2015).
Be Rational. Be Realistic. Be Hopeful with John Vespasian #isharehope Episode 112
Summary: John’s answer to the five questions! Listen to the full conversation on the player above; also available on iTunes and Stitcher.
Question 1: How do you define hope or what is your favorite quote about hope?
Hope has to be built on facts. It has to be built on logic. If you just go for blind faith, for positive thinking, laws of attraction, these stuff which is to some extent magical or supernatural, you are bound to be disappointed because they are not based on reality. They are based on subjective thoughts or feelings and you might feel that you are going the right direction, but if it’s not based on facts eventually you will make mistakes.
The whole idea of rational living is to use logic to stay optimistic and motivated, but to base your motivation on real facts.
Question 2: Who has shared the most hope with you?
There are many people in history who has been extraordinary examples to follow in some specific areas of life. One of my favorite authors for years is Henry Miller. He was a guy who was extremely persistent. He wrote books for decades and nobody wanted to publish them. They were forbidden in the United States and in the end he made money when he was very old. He was already in his 90s when he actually started to get royalties from the US. He just kept going. He developed his talent through the decades. You can learn a lot from people like him on how to live the life of your dreams with a really small budget because he was always scratching for money because he didn’t get enough from his writing. He lived for decades in modest condition, but still he was an extremely happy person. I have learned a lot from many examples and this is just one of them.
Question 3: How have you used hope to make it through a difficult time in your life?
I started to write books in 2008 basically out of frustration because I have been reading books about psychology and philosophy and personal development for decades and at a certain point, I was really very dissatisfied with the books I was reading because I found them unrealistic. I decided to start writing books myself and if you try to become an author and you try to sell books, the amount of rejection you have to deal with is impossible to describe.
In almost all artistic endeavors, you have to believe that what you are doing is important or at least valuable. It’s only now, 2016, that I’m getting traction, I’m getting readers from different countries. It’s getting better, but it requires a lot of energy and conviction. I have learned this not because I’m a positive thinker. The reason for my motivation is I have seen many cases in history of people who have developed – who were new and innovative. It takes a lot of effort to get the ball rolling. Anything you do, it takes a lot of work and to deal with this kind of opposition and frustration and rejection is a lot of work. You have to inspire yourself daily by looking at examples of people who have done similar things when you have doubts. You can say “it has been done before”.
Question 4: How are you sharing hope today?
I talk to a lot of people and I have a newsletter. My last book’s title is On Becoming Unbreakable and it has become a way to get to know me. People ask me questions. The whole idea is as an author, I cannot really provide advice to every specific question because I don’t know each person. I can just provide principles.
What I have done in this book is to provide a series of techniques based on history, based on real cases that do not require a lot of energy. If you tell someone who is going through a lot to think positive, people will become more depressed because it’s easy to say for you. I find this kind of advice insulting because it’s not realistic. What I try to provide is specific advice on how you can overcome your situation.
Question 5: How should I (the listener) begin to grow in hope or share hope today?
(1) The easiest way to have an emotionally easy life is to surround yourself with people that share your ideas.